AZ Concerned NFL May Move Super Bowl if Gov. Signs 'Religious Freedom' Bill
The NFL said it would be closely following the political situation in Arizona surrounding the "religious freedom" bill that would allow businesses to refuse service to gays or lesbians on religious grounds, prompting concerns that the league may consider moving the Super Bowl from the state if Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signs the bill into law.
Brewer has until Saturday to sign or veto SB 1062, and her closest advisers indicated on Tuesday that she would veto the bill after pressure from business interests.
"Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other improper standard," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told USA Today. "We are following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law, but will decline further comment at this time."
The Super Bowl will be played at the University of Phoenix Stadium, where the Cardinals play, next year. And the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee has said that it does not support the bill and urged Brewer to veto it.
"On that matter we have heard loud and clear from our various stakeholders that adoption of this legislation would not only run contrary to that goal but deal a significant blow to the state's economic growth potential. We do not support this legislation," the committee said.
In 1993, the NFL moved the Super Bowl from Arizona to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena after the state decided not to honor the Martin Luther King holiday. The NFL is also reportedly considering moving the Pro Bowl to Arizona in 2015.